Travel Updates

Big Sur is Open!

You might have seen the Mud Creek slide in the news lately – good news, Big Sur is still accessible!

While winter storms have impacted a portion of Highway 1, the breathtaking beauty of Big Sur and the Central Coast is open and beckons you with unparalleled natural scenery. Some parts of the highway are not yet passable, but many scenic attractions and friendly businesses are open and ready to welcome you!

To make the most of your experience, please prepare for your trip by taking note of the travel updates below and click here for a full list of open attractions and businesses.

The northern section of Highway 1 from the Monterey Peninsula into Big Sur is now OPEN, as of March 14, 2017. Hotels, restaurants and shops north of Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge (including Big Sur Village) are ready to welcome you and invite you to experience authentic Big Sur charm. Gas up the tank and take in the sights while you enjoy the coastline all the way until the Big Sur Ranger Station. Stop for a bite to eat and enjoy a sunset that’s unforgettable!

Visitors are now able to access 35 miles of the southern section of Big Sur from Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge to Gorda via Nacimiento-Fergusson Road from Highway 101. Note: Visitors are encouraged to exercise caution when driving along Nacimiento-Fergusson Road as it is narrow and very windy and should only be traveled during daylight hours. Been on the road to Hana? Then you have an idea of what’s in store on this road trip. And like Hana, the final destination is so worth the drive!

Big Sur businesses north of Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge are open and accessible, but there is no through route available. Estimated completion date of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge is September 30, 2017. Please note, until further notice there is a hard closure of Highway 1 at the Big Sur Ranger Station before Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge.

Ensuring that our visitors are safe and that their trip is unforgettable are our top priorities, which is why we continue to work diligently in sharing information from state and local agencies as they provide updates on conditions in Highway 1 and Big Sur.

For more details, please see the map and list of road closures below.

Road Closures

  • Highway 1 in Big Sur
    • Closed at Big Sur Ranger Station before Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge. Motorists must not get within 100 feet of either side of the bridge.
    • The last turnaround is at Big Sur Ranger Station. Due to potential traffic, we encourage visitors to turn around after reaching their destinations.
    • Paul's Slide was cleared on July 18th opening up 35 miles of the southern section of Big Sur from Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge to Gorda via Nacimiento-Fergusson Road from Highway 101.
  • Please visit QuickMaps for updates http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/

Big Sur Map

Please check the CalTrans website and the Monterey County Public Works website for the latest road closures.

Turn Around Locations

For visitors planning to travel to Big Sur, we encourage you to stay alert and be mindful and respectful to CHP, Caltrans and other public service and safety workers who are continuing to restore the destination after the winter weather impacts. Please use turnouts, legal parking areas and pull over when appropriate.

  • Guests traveling in a large bus or RV are able to turn around at Big Sur Campground & Cabins or Fernwood Resort.
  • The MCCVB encourages visitors to help reduce any traffic congestion by avoiding traveling south from their destination. The furthest south visitors will be able to access is Big Sur Ranger Station where they will be turned around and directed north.

Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge Trail & Shuttle Service Connecting North and South Big Sur

The Pfeiffer Canyon Bypass Trail that was developed by residents to connect the northern and southern sections of Big Sur opened to the public on July 1, 2017. Visitors wishing to use the trail to access the south side of Big Sur must park at Andrew Molera State Park (fee $10). At the park, they will be able to board a shuttle run by Sur Transportation to all the restaurants and hotels in the Big Sur north area by purchasing a shuttle pass and will be transported through the Big Sur Valley to the Pfeiffer State Park Camp Store. The shuttle pass is $5 per person per day (cash only) and children under 12 are free. In order to use the shuttle, visitors must purchase the pass at Andrew Molera State Park. Please note, there is no overnight parking available at Andrew Molera State Park and pets are not allowed on the shuttle. Once visitors reach the south side of Big Sur using the trail, a shuttle will be available to transport guests to Nepenthe Restaurant and back. The shuttle will be waiting at the Loma Vista Shell Station (.25 miles from trail).

The shuttles will run every hour from 12 PM to 7 PM seven days a week on both sides of the Pfeiffer Canyon Trail. Hours of operation are subject to change and visitors should refer to Sur Transportation’s website for the latest information: https://www.surtransportation.com/the-big-sur-shuttle-survice/.

Visitors planning to use the Pfeiffer Canyon Trail should be prepared for a hike that is less than a mile long with steep inclines and rugged terrain. The trail is not recommended for those with limited mobility or those who are unable to engage in mild exercise. Closed toe shoes are recommended, and visitors are encouraged to be courteous to residents who rely on the trail for their daily routines. The trail is open to visitors at 12 PM daily and closes a half an hour before sunset. For those who wish to experience the southern portion of Big Sur in a different way, Big Sur Adventures is renting electric bikes for self-guided tours at Loma Vista, just to the right of the Big Sur Bakery.

Businesses open and welcoming guests on the north side of Big Sur in the Village include Fernwood Resort, Glen Oaks Big Sur, Ripplewood, Big Sur Roadhouse, Big Sur Campground, Big Sur River Inn, Rocky Point Restaurant and Big Sur Lodge. Businesses open and welcoming guests south of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge closure include but are not limited to Nepenthe Restaurant, The Phoenix Shop, Hawthorne Gallery, Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur Deli, Big Sur Taphouse, and Henry Miller Memorial Library.

Travel Tips

Visitors from Northern California and the Monterey Peninsula can take Highway 1 south all the way to Big Sur until the Big Sur Ranger Station, just before the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge. At that point, visitors will be turned around to take Highway 1 north to Highway 68 where they will be able to access Highway 101 to drive south to Los Angeles.

Below are few great things to see and do on the Highway 101 detour:

Helpful travel planning documents:

While businesses in the northern section of Big Sur are open and some businesses are open in the southern section of Big Sur, we encourage visitors to call ahead to ensure a smooth arrival experience. Most businesses south of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge remain closed for the time being, as Highway 1 remains closed from the south while road work continues.

Exploring the southern part of Big Sur

For visitors looking to access a portion of the southern section of Big Sur, Nacimiento-Fergusson Road is open and accessible from Highway 101. Visitors are encouraged to exercise caution when driving along Nacimiento-Fergusson Road as it is narrow and very windy and should only be traveled during daylight hours. While the road is paved and maintained, RVs and heavy vehicles are not recommended. It is also a remote road with no cell service, gas stations or other public services. Camping is also not permitted along Nacimiento-Fergusson Road, fines are strictly enforced.

A limited number of businesses and attractions are open along the southern portion of Highway 1. Most businesses south of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge remain closed until later this spring/summer.

Open businesses and parks include, but are not limited to:

  • Local Campgrounds (guests must bring their own food and water as there are no restaurants on the campground properties)
  • Henry Miller Library
  • Treebones Resort
  • Sand Dollar Beach
  • Mill Creek Day Use Area
  • Willow Creek Day Use Area
  • Post Ranch Inn (open to overnight guests only)
  • Nepenthe

If you are in the area and have any questions on the closures, please visit our Monterey Visitors Center at Lake El Estero Park (401 Camino El Estero, Monterey, CA).

Park Conditions

Please note the current conditions for Monterey County Parks:

  • Garrapata State Park: Partially Open
    • Lands west of Highway 1 are open, with the exception of Gates 8 and 9
  • Point Lobos State Natural Reserve: Open
  • Point Sur Light Station Historic State Park: Open
  • Limekiln State Park: Open
  • Sand Dollar Beach: Open
  • Andrew Molera State Park: Partially Open
    • Parking lot is open for shuttle parking
    • Beach access is available via the Creamery Meadow Trail
    • Trails that are open to the public include: Bobcat, Panorama, Bluff, Spring, and Ridge Loop
  • Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park: Partially Open
    • Areas open to the public include: McWay Falls Overlook Trail and parking/picnic area
  • Limekiln State Park: Open
  • Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park: Partially Open
    • Open for camping and day use
    • Trails that are open to the public include: Pfeiffer Canyon Trail, Redwood Deck, Nature Trail, River Trail, Warden’s Cottage Trail, Liewald Flat Trail
  • Please click the links below for updates:

For more information and updates on current conditions, please call the California State Parks Big Sur Sector Office at (831) 667-1112 or the Big Sur Station at (831) 667-2315. Check the CalTrans website for up-to-date road conditions on Highway 1.

Fire Restrictions

Please take note of fire restrictions enforced at local parks and campgrounds. For more info click here.

The following restrictions are currently in effect:

  • No open fires, campfires or charcoal fires will be permitted outside of developed recreation sites or designated Campfire Use Sites (list attached), even with a valid California Campfire Permit. Lanterns and portable stoves using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel will be permitted, but only with a valid California Campfire Permit, which are available free-of-charge on the Forest website and at any Forest Service office. Forest visitors must clear all flammable material for five feet in all directions from their camp stove, have a shovel available, and ensure that a responsible person attends the stove at all times during use.
     
  • Smoking is prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle, building, or a designated Campfire Use Site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
     
  • Internal combustion engines may be operated only on roads or designated trails. This restriction is in effect year-round. Please make sure your engine is tuned, operating properly, and has an approved spark arrester.

For a list of Developed Recreation Sites and Campfire Use Sites in Los Padres National Forest, or further information regarding Fire-Safe Camping, visit www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf or contact the Forest Service district office nearest you.

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